Pedestrian Anita Walters, 57, was killed Monday morning in Vancouver after a man who had been driving erratically through the city struck her with his car, according to police.
At about 11:15 a.m., a series of callers to 911 reported that a dark-maroon sedan was driving recklessly on Interstate 205 northbound from Portland, and there were reports that the sedan hit another vehicle on the freeway and kept going.
From I-205, the driver took state Highway 500 west and struck a light pole on the highway before exiting onto Northeast Andresen Road, according to Trooper Will Finn with the Washington State Patrol.
Traveling north on Andresen Road, the car struck Walters near Northeast Vancouver Mall Drive. The driver continued north for a short distance before crashing the car, and he was taken into custody, according to the Vancouver Police Department, which identified him as Matthew Saeed Purifoy, 33.
Police at the scene confirmed Walters had died.
While police investigated, Andresen Road was shut down for several blocks north and south of Vancouver Mall Drive. The Vancouver Police Department’s Major Crimes Team and Traffic Unit are investigating the incident and say it’s possible that Purifoy was impaired.
“That’s something we’re obviously looking at, given the multiple calls related to erratic driving,” said Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.
The crash was near the site of a crew cleaning litter from the roadway, but Kapp did not say whether Walters was with that group.
“We want to make sure we can make some (family) notification,” before describing the victim, she said; Walters’ name was released only minutes before The Columbian’s press time.
The woman is the 36th person killed in a Clark County traffic crash this year. She was killed near where two pedestrians, Irina Gardinant and Raisa Mosh, were struck by a pickup on Jan. 19 as they used a crosswalk at 72nd Avenue and Vancouver Mall Drive. Gardinant and Mosh died of their injuries.
Columbian staff writer Emily Gillespie contributed to this report.